July is national savings month - the month during which financial services companies will bombard you with information about how bad we are at saving. South Africans are, in fact, good savers - the National Stokvel Association of South Africa estimates that there are over 800 000 stokvels with a combined membership of 11.2 million. These are people who know how to save, but many are not investing. We also have investors who don't save, and spend money they could be investing. Here are some home truths. Everyone who earns can save If you spend less than you earn, it is possible to save. A recent New York Times article centred on a frugal legal secretary who worked at the same firm for 67 years until she retired at the age of 96 - she was a "closet millionaire" who had amassed a fortune of more than $9-million (about R125-million). Reports claim that Sylvia Bloom joins a host of others who did not live above their means: Ronald Read, a former petrol station attendant and janitor who d...

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